Mosquitoes To Muskrats: A Lot Happening At The PPL Wetlands

Mosquitoes To Muskrats: A Lot Happening At The PPL Wetlands

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We finally had a Saturday without any rain here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. I took advantage of it by driving to one of my favorite hiking areas, the PPL Wetlands in Salem Township. wetlands -1

I found the plants and trees of the wetlands achieved their full Summer attire of leaves and are now a deep, lush green.wetlands -3

Even the oaks, always the last to put forth their leaves, are now clad in a coat of green. wetlands -4

And the waters of the canals are joining in the act,  turning a light green as the new growth of duckweed spreads through the wetlands. wetlands -2

Soon after setting out on my hike I saw this fellow covered in the new growth of duckweed, a muskrat.  He  didn’t sit still for long, quickly swimming away as soon as he noticed me. wetlands -14The trees were again filled with the songs of the many species of birds that have returned to our area including a number of the always beautiful yellow warblers. wetlands birds-20

I also saw a few Baltimore orioles, many among the flowers of the blooming locust trees. wetlands birds-33

As usual there were many catbirds in the trees along the rails,wetlands birds-1

as there were the  noisy and territorial red-winged blackbirds. here is a male,wetlands birds-25

and this is a female. wetlands birds-10

I was hoping to see some cedar waxwings since they, too, seem to be attracted to the locust blossoms. unfortunately I only saw one today and could not get a good photograph. wetlands birds-26

I saw a few of the tiny common yellowthroats in some of the thicker brush. This is a male. wetlands birds-27

And I believe this is a song sparrow but I am not certain since I am not very good identifying sparrows. wetlands birds-14

There were also some year round residents about, including this blue bird,wetlands birds-30

and this male cardinal perched high on the branch of a dead tree, singing for the entire wetlands to hear. wetlands birds-16

He didn’t like me watching him  singing and decided to find a more private perch to sing his song to the world. There were a few birds I had seen  and was  able to photograph but I couldn’t identify. I am hoping my birding friends will help. Here is a link to some more photographs of the many birds I saw at the wetlands. Please feel free to identify them if you can. birds-17

I also saw a few other mammals today, including this chipmunk,wetlands -30

this whitetail deer, wetlands -31

and this groundhog galloping to get way from my camera.wetlands -24

And of course the flowers and plants continue to bloom and grow. The  wild blue flag irises are now blooming adding contrast to the deep green of the wetlands. wetlands -8

The high bush blueberries are getting larger and it still appears that there will be a big crop this year. wetlands -9

And there are plenty of blackberry flowers blooming  so maybe they, too, will produce a bumper crop  this year. wetlands -10

There were also an abundance of mosquitoes which I did not enjoy. it seemed I was covered with them from the moment I entered the wetlands. They are now breeding in the warm murky waters, and breeding very well. Fortunately there were no ticks today.wetlands -13

 I also  saw a few frogs and turtles on my walk but they  now prefer the warm, duckweed covered waters of the ponds and canals and are not as easily seen. wetlands -19

I walked out to Lake-Took-Awhile where I saw many folks fishing along it’s shores or enjoying a cookout at one of it’s many picnic areas. wetlands -21

It sure was a nice day to be outdoors. I wish I could have stayed but I had to head home, so I took a slow walk back to my car, enjoying the many sights and sounds of nature along the way. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. -5


In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.     Aristotle